Soft-tissue expansion in lower extremity reconstruction

P. T. Borges Filho, R. I. Neves, R. Gemperli, S. Kaweski, S. H. Kahler, D. R. Banducci, E. K. Manders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Soft-tissue expansion in the lower extremities is typically well tolerated. The more proximal one is - that is, the closer to the thigh and buttocks - the easier and less complication prone the expansion will be. It is another valuable technique for resurfacing the lower extremity and for reconstructing defects in contour and in skin character. There are limitations to this technique, which generally is most useful in late reconstructions. Intraoperative expansion has no place in lower extremity reconstruction. Soft-tissue expansion may be limited by an unsuitable geometry or the sheer size of defects. It should not be used next to open wounds. Soft-tissue expansion offers significant advantage in that the coverage of a defect will be replaced with tissue like that lost. Seldom does one see necrosis of advanced flaps, so that there is little risk of tissue loss in using this modality. There is an excellent vascularity to the flaps and an excellent character to the skin. In addition, in this cost-conscious era, soft-tissue expansion is quite cost effective, and in many cases the procedures can be conducted on an outpatient basis with a minimum of hospitalization, if any. With care to select patients properly, design carefully, and conduct expansion in a leisurely fashion, soft-tissue expansion offers a valuable means of reconstructing both large and small lower extremity defects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-599
Number of pages7
JournalClinics in Plastic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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